Kim In-kyung and Paula Creamer took the second-round lead as Anna Nordqvist’s quest for a third successive victory faltered at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey on Saturday.
South Korean Kim and American Creamer shot matching scores of four-under-par 67 to surge to the front at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway.
At nine-under 133, they will head into the final round on Sunday two clear of Swede Nordqvist, Thai Moriya Jutanugarn and South Korean Lee Jeong-eun.
First round leader Nordqvist’s love affair with the venue cooled a little as she battled to an even-par 71, a score she thought was a little harsh.
“Overall I feel like I played a bit better than I scored,” Nordqvist told reporters. “The wind really kicked up and I was surprised how strong it was.
“I think tomorrow you just got to go out there and stay aggressive. I feel like I'm hitting the shots I need to hit. Just a matter of making a few more putts.”
Co-leader Kim, a four-times LPGA winner, is getting back to her best after an injury she said was incurred falling on stairs late last year.
“I got very sick and then I needed to rehab and recover,” she said, explaining why she missed the first two months of the year. “I'm really healthy now, but I fell on the stair and just wasn't good. But I have good support team with me, so everything is really good. I think I got stronger actually after that injury.”
Creamer was happy to be tied for the lead after taking a penalty stroke at her final hole, before getting up-and-down to save par.
She has 10 LPGA victories, but only one since the 2010 U.S. Open.
"I've had some pretty bad sad moments,” Creamer said.
"I knew there was a time I was going to kind of breakthrough.
"These last two days have been good golf. Whatever happens tomorrow happens, but I feel like my golf game is in a good place."
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)